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So Bright And Delicate: Love Letters And Poems Of John Keats To Fanny Brawne (2010)

So Bright and Delicate: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne (2010)
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4.29 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0141442476 (ISBN13: 9780141442471)
languge
English
publisher
Penguin Books
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So Bright And Delicate: Love Letters ...
So Bright And Delicate: Love Letters And Poems Of John Keats To Fanny Brawne (2010)

About book: To celebrate midsummer, after teaching I took the tube to Hampstead to visit Keats House. The house was not pretty enough to make it into "Bright Star", but knowing the circumstances of Keats's life I expected a modest building, and I found my visit very moving. The rooms are decorated in a simple way, with few pieces of furniture, and even so you get a vivid feel of how cramped conditions must have been for two households sharing the building with one partition wall. The paintings and prints on the walls are dedicated to family and friends of Keats and his circle, as well as literary heroes such as Milton or Shakespeare. There are also display cabinets full of touching memorabilia, including Fanny's engagement ring.So I felt inspired to read John's letters to Fanny, and to watch again "Bright Star", with tears freshly shed. It was devastating to learn that once Keats embarked for Rome, he never wrote to Fanny again, although he sent a few letters to her mother and other friends. He was buried with the letters that Fanny sent him to Rome, which he never opened. He told Mrs Brawne that he couldn't bring himself to think of Fanny, it was just too painful.John's letters to Fanny give us a fragmented view of the development of their relationship, which seemed to stop and re-start as Keats tried to restrain his feelings. Initially, marriage would have brought responsibilities that would have kept him from poetic creation. Afterwards, his illness made marriage even less possible. He comes across as selfless, but at the same time he torments himself with jealousy, thinking of the other men that Fanny may meet. Through biographical notes I have learnt that Fanny was a fashionable girl, considered by some of John's friends as flirtatious, but "Bright Star" gives little sense of that: for instance, her relationship with Brown, Keats's friend, is not flirtatious, but full of animosity. The writing is of course magnificent. I wonder what it must have felt like to receive such letters: Fanny must have felt daunted, and she must have worried terribly about what he was feeling about their relationship, and how much he appeared to be suffering. In his last letter he appears to touch rock bottom, and shortly afterwards Mrs Brawne took him in. It has been said that this was the happiest time in Keats's life, right before his trip to Italy. Since my visit I have been thinking a great deal about Keats, about his life and his poetry, but I have also thought often about Mrs Brawne, what a curious forward-thinking person she must have been, to kindly take in an ill and penniless poet as her daughter's fianceé, and look after him. To talk about the heart ache inducing life of John Keats, and by extension his poems you must know of his end and his love.Keats has enchanted our hearts and senses for many years, indulging our ears with his sweet words but no one was ever as blessed to hear those words than Fanny Brawne, the love of his tragically short life. Within the pages of this book we see his words to her, the most precious and passionate that he arguably ever wrote. You’re taken on the journey through their short love by the letters of their separation, the notes he sent when he was too ill to see her. Sadly Fanny’s replies were lost to time, buried with the poet himself but you can imagine her replies without due concern.Towards the closing of their story, it might suddenly come back to you that these were not fictional letters, they were real people and that’s when it hurts the most. I sat, staring at the last letter, almost stunned into a silence, because that was truly the end of a genius and the breaking of his fiancé.I warn you, this is not something you can skim, you have to read into the words and absorb yourself within his world, but it is well worth your time and effort. Please yourself by reading the odd line aloud, but insure you have tissues nearby for you will need them.
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Reviews
yale
This is what it says it is. It runs the gamut of incredibly beautiful to incredibly whiny.
tyler
Very good story!
yannchay
Treasure!
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